Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death in the United States according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – only heart disease and cancer cause more deaths. At The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc., our medical malpractice lawyer who focuses on medical malpractice claims understands that’s a frightening statistic, as most of us place a great deal of trust in our medical providers.
Medical malpractice occurs when any licensed healthcare provider deviates from a recognized “standard of care” when treating a patient. That “standard of care” is defined as what a reasonably prudent medical provider would or would not have done under the same or similar circumstances. Sometimes it is a blatant error, and other times it is the facts that support a claim are buried in the medical records and hard to find. Either way, Robenalt Law‘s lawyers find answers.
Representing Injured Individuals Due To A Range Of Medical Incidents
Medical malpractice comes in many forms, including but not limited to:
- Birth injuries. Birth injuries such as anoxic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, spina bifida and others can result in severe, nonreversible injuries such as abnormal muscle tone, spastic quadriplegia, developmental and cognitive delays, muscle coordination problems, uncontrollable and abrupt movements and more that require a lifetime of care. Cerebral palsy is the most common type of birth injury and affects approximately 10,000 children every year according to CerebralPalsy.org. It is caused by labor difficulties that result in a lack of oxygen to the brain, head trauma, meningitis and infection. While occupational and physical therapies may help birth injury victims lead a meaningful life, those therapies can be expensive – especially if needed throughout the victim’s lifetime.
- Surgical injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), up to 100,000 people may die in U.S. hospitals every year from surgical errors such as causing injuries to organs, operating on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong organ or failure to follow the necessary standard of care. While that may seem astounding, the simple fact is that surgeons make mistakes.
- Medication errors. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medication errors are responsible for injuring approximately 1.3 million people every year and killing hundreds. This is likely due to computer mistakes, doctor and pharmacist errors and the ability to order prescriptions online. Make no mistake, doctors and pharmacists are responsible for the medications they prescribe and fill – wherever they are located.
- Misdiagnosis & failure to diagnose. As noted above, health care professionals are held to a certain standard of care when treating patients. That same standard of care applies to misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose patients properly. Sadly, too many patients suffer heart attacks, strokes or succumb to cancer that might have been prevented or treated had the doctor acted reasonably.
- Amputation & loss of limb. Failure to diagnose and treat an overwhelming infection or sepsis is one of the leading causes to amputations for hospitalized patients. Overwhelming cases of shock is another. Patients who have sepsis need immediate and appropriate antibiotic coverage and the standard of care follows a standard initiated by the NIH entitled the “3-Hour Surviving Sepsis Campaign Guidelines.” Failure to follow these published guidelines can lead to disastrous results and loss of limb because blood flow to the limbs is impaired while the body fights off the infection. Needless to say, losing a limb is debilitating and changes your life forever.
- Anesthesia injuries and errors. Anesthesiologists often are assigned to cover 4 operating rooms at the same time and care is provided in each operating room by a CRNA who was only a fraction of the training that a doctor has. These providers are responsible for administering the correct dosages and medications and monitoring airways, breathing and circulation from induction through extubation (inserting and removing tubes). Monitors provide immediate feedback that can alert the providers to life-threatening conditions. Sometimes the CRNA or doctor monitoring patients fails to identify the problem and take immediate action. Failure to do so puts patients at serious risk of injury or death, including injuries from anoxic brain injuries that result from a lack of oxygen.
- Nursing home neglect. Health care providers are responsible for caring for patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long term care facilities. They are held to the same “standard of care” as others in their field. Sadly, nursing home neglect injuries occur frequently are expected to increase as more and more baby-boomers need additional care. Allowing patients to fall or leave the facility and get injured, allowing patients to get bed sores and suffer from untreated infections are all examples of injuries that can be avoided if the appropriate care is provided.
- Traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can occur from exposure to carbon monoxide, medical malpractice, workplace accidents, car accidents, medical errors and simple slip and falls. These cases required significant resources and proper diagnosis and treatment. Sadly, TBI victims may need a lifetime of costly treatment.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries can also occur from workplace accidents, car accidents, medical errors, and simple slip and falls. Victims may become paraplegics or quadriplegics and be restricted to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives.
Regardless of what type of medical malpractice occurs, it’s likely to result in victims experiencing extreme physical pain and discomfort, emotional strain and stress, financial loss – and perhaps a lifetime of medical bills. The bottom line is that substandard medical care is never acceptable.
Turn To An Experienced Med Mal Lawyer Who Will Fight For You
At The Robenalt Law Firm, Inc., our medical malpractice lawyers will fight for you when it comes to medical malpractice claims. We understand how hospitals, medical providers and insurance companies operate when it comes to medical malpractice claims. We also understand how intimidating it can feel for victims to take on these organizations alone. Let our years of experience in medical malpractice litigation work for you. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are NO fees unless we win.
Keep in mind that the deadline to file an Ohio medical malpractice lawsuit is generally only one year from the date of injury or one year from the date of discovery of the condition. While there are exceptions, it’s important to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you do not lose your ability to file.
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We represent clients in Cleveland, Columbus, Akron, Toledo, throughout Ohio and elsewhere.